Second mayor jailed as Maduro addresses new Venezuelan assembly

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Kuczynski said his primary concern with Venezuela was the regional fallout as thousands of Venezuelans flee the country's grinding poverty and hyperinflation every day and seek refuge in neighbouring countries.

"I come to recognise its plenipotentiary powers, sovereign, original and magnificent", he said. As a counter to the Peru meeting, he was hosting a meeting of foreign ministers from the Bolivarian Alliance, a leftist coalition of 11 Latin American nations.

Arreaza delivered to each ambassador a formal protest against the meeting which issued a declaration outlining 16 measures to increase pressure against President Nicolas Maduro.

The Republican politicians reminded the former businessman that oil refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast which process Venezuelan crude oil make up "a significant portion, almost 10 percent, of USA imports".

"President Maduro swore in this illegitimate Constituent Assembly to further entrench his dictatorship, and continues to tighten his grip on the country", US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement announcing the latest sanctions. The collapse in global energy prices along with government corruption have sent oilrich Venezuela spiraling into an economic and social catastrophe. "Maduro. Sorry", Kuczynski said.

"When in history have you seen a government try to sanction an individual for peacefully organizing an election?" he asked.

Maduro later rebuffed US sanctions that targeted him personally, saying he was "proud" to be singled out by the measure.

Less than one week after Allup's announcement a disgraced junior officer, who had been expelled from the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) years ago, led a cobbled-together group of civilians in a failed paramilitary attack on Fort Paramacay in the state of Carabobo.

Rosneft recently made an advance payment of over U.S. $1 billion to PDVSA in April, deemed by many in Venezuela's local media as a "lifeline" for President Nicolás Maduro's floundering regime.

"Trump tells reporters at his New Jersey golf course Friday that he's "not going to rule out" a military option".

And the military command responsible for U.S. operations in Latin America, Southern Command, said: "The military conducts contingency planning for a variety of situations".

Trump has been blasting Maduro's moves to consolidate power, describing him as a "dictator".

The U.S., the European Union, a number of Latin American countries and others around the globe have condemned the assembly, and the Vatican last week called for its suspension, all of which Maduro no doubt laughed off because now he basically controls the country.

The US military has not directly intervened in the region since a 1994-1995 operation that aimed to remove from Haiti a military government installed after a 1991 coup.

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